Before you start contacting any potential partners, make sure that you have a strong suite of services and products you can sell to a partner and make sure your presentation is strong and properly sells your brand. We just went over this, I am sure you did great!
Now it is time for you to conduct research. What kind of partners will fit your esports organization, your values, your vision and your activities? Look for potential partners whose values match yours. When you choose a partner, you also have to love their products and services. You have to feel positive about their brand so you can endorse them where and when you have the opportunity. It’s also important to keep in mind the state of your organization when conducting research. Is your organization new and looking to get started? Do you operate locally from a great esports venue? Are you an older, stronger esports organization, looking to expand your partner network?
Who are you, and what are you looking for – it is unique to each organization. Therefore, it is even more important that you are completely clear about: are you looking for local, regional, national or international partners? Which products and services do you believe you can sell to which partners? Understand how much revenue you need generated per month and year.
Research potential partners
Start your research, look for partners by looking at existing esports or traditional sport organizations. Find which organizations you resemble the most and find out who they partner with. You may want to start by contacting similar partners. Also, don’t hesitate to look locally, are there any local businesses that could be your next partner?
Research potential partners and put them into a CRM system like HubSpot. Use social media, local media, Google, LinkedIn as well as your contacts to find the right person and how you can contact them. In other words, who is the person that can sign a partnership contract with you? That is the person you want in the system, and the person you want to hunt.
You can make simple discovery calls to potential partners to understand if X person is the right person to talk with in terms of partnerships. Understand the potential partner’s business. What do they do and how do they make money? What are they struggling to accomplish? Always Google a potential partner to see if there are any interesting facts about them in the media. You can then use this information to put into the CRM system to make your relationship with them stronger.
When entering a potential partner in your CRM system you can add info about who they are sponsoring right now and why you find this partner important, and how you can envision working together to build a strong partnership.
Make sure you think about industry exclusivity. Most partners like to be the only one in their “category”.
Here are some of the categories for which you might look for a partner:
- Peripherals: keyboard, mice, mousepads
- Audio: headset, headphones, speakers
- System: PCs, consoles and laptops
- Transport, travel & accommodation
- Mobile phones and tablets
- Food & Beverage
- PR and media
Category exclusiveness makes the partnership stronger and is a good way to focus all your efforts into one partner per category.
Before you put any potential partner into your CRM system, make sure you feel that when you close this partnership, you will be happy! Not only that, your fans and audience will be happy and excited about the new partnership and new brand joining your ranks. After all, your fans and audience are the ones following your players, watching your streams, and buying your merchandise. They are the ones that you ultimately want to please.
Always dedicate a person to presale who loves research and discovery and who is detail orientated. You need as much data in your CRM system as possible in as good quality as possible so that the sales executive can be as effective and efficient as possible.